ANOVOS picks up the high-end Star Wars Costuming License!

GeneralFROSTY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There is always this issue when attempting to mass produce a prop or collectible statue that originates from the hands of an artist invested in the craft.
It's time consuming and requires a ton of invested interest and passion to build and paint just one detailed model. Times that by a thousand and it becomes far more difficult to manage time vs output quality.
This is why the unlicensed market continues to thrive. You're dealing with individual artists and buyers have more control over what they get because there is typically more than one choice available for almost any popular item you're looking for.
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I remember Steves trips to china and wishing that he had stayed there to be on hand for QC issues


To have good product come out of any factory you need to have good project management skills and monitor the factory to keep standards up. Being made in China doesn't equal cheap. Not properly monitoring your production or not giving a damn will get you cheap product
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Some of the factories in China may have took the money and shipped Product that was substandard , so MORE money was needed to get another factory to do a new run, or have the original factory to re do it.
I have been quiet about this for a while, and have read many "arm chair" speculation. But perhaps some first hand info is in order.

I'm not sure how many companies "in China" Anovos is using, but the main one I know about does great work and it is not an issue of shipping sub-standard work, it is about not shipping any. This happens when you are owed six figures for work you have already done. The Chinese comapny, who specializes in high end collectibles and also produces props and costumes for film, does amazing work. They have made us a number of things and their work has been very good.

We (Global Effects Inc.) started doing work for ANOVOS in the beginning of 2015.
First prototyping the classic y-wing helmets to be used in Rouge One. Three unpainted helmets with liners were sent to the Rouge One production company and 2 were painted "as new". Anovos displayed one of these.
1028006
1028008
1028016


Eventually our deal was to produce any short run production (less than 100 pieces) items for ANOVOS and rework the First order suits, for eventually making 1000 - 1500 kits. They also had their US production staff headquartered at our North Hollywood facility.
We prototyped much of their Star Wars helmet line and many of the armor sets. (The pictures you see on their site) Boba Fett, Kylo Renn, Phasma, First order Tie Pilot, Snow Trooper, Classic Snow Trooper, X-wing Pilot, AT AT Pilot, plus some others.
We produced 50 each of Tie pilot, AT AT pilots, Snow Trooper and X-Wing pilot sets, hard goods and some soft goods. These were delayed several times because of ANOVOS management changing priorities and / or not supplying detail parts to us in sufficient quantities or on time. (Some of the small "found" parts were purchased and supplied by outside vendors) All of our completed sets were picked up from us in mid 16 or early 17.
1028009


We also completely retooled the First Order suits to make then easier to build, visually closer to production used suits (The original suits were cast urethane). We redesigned the gaskets so they actually bent and re engineered the leg suspension so the legs didn't want to rotate or drop when you walked. The helmets were injection molded by the company in China and were fantastic. (Much better than the film used helmets)
This prototype was painted gray here so you can see all the surfaces are smooth and the seams (panel gaps) small and parallel. (this prototype is missing mid drift boxes and belt.)
1028007

In 2016 we built over 100 First Order suits for ANOVOS with this new production tooling. These were to be used at Disney, Disney knew these were mass produced "costume" kits that were being modified for use on figures (Not walk around) and ANOVOS cut them a good deal. But after art director review, Disney decided they wanted higher detailed suits. Which in order to meet their new requirements, would have necessitated molds for fiberglass parts or cast parts, something ANOVOS told us they didn't want to do.

In all we did about 31/2 years worth of work for them and in the end we called it quits when payments became chronically late, we were redirected too many times on "in production items", and when ANOVOS cancelled the 1000 First Order Trooper kit order. This last one was quite a surprise, as in addition to having an invoice and down payment on this order, we had spent significant sums of money reworking the tooling for this order and Disney's order. We had greatly improved the kit from ANOVO's first version, lowered production costs substantially, gave them reliable delivery times and made the suit easier for the customer to build and all while being more accurate.
Eventually all of my advanced and "trick" vacuum forming tooling methods (all the tooling we made) were taken and handed to the Chinese company. The Chinese company was asked to improve the suits we made for the Disney projects and they told ANOVOS they couldn't make them any better. In looking at the images on the ANOVOS site, the premier kit looks like our suit, either one of our prototypes, or a Chinese made version of our suit.
So, for what it's worth, there is some first hand info on why ANOVOS may not be delivering product, at least from one vendors point of view.
 
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mikidymac

New Member
Thank you so much Imgill for taking the time to let us know some additional first hand information.

So basically it sounds like Anovos had all of the intentions and even a deposit to have our kits made here in the U.S. but got cheap and outsourced all of your work and their commitments to you to China.

I guess this is where the long delay came from. I wonder if any of the first kits sent out at around Celebration were actually your kits and the China ones haven't even been made yet?
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very interesting thanks for posting and giving further insight on just what is happening.

I have heard things from a few people who have worked for them and all have said bad things about them



I have been quiet about this for a while, and have read many "arm chair" speculation. But perhaps some first hand info is in order.

I'm not sure how many companies "in China" Anovos is using, but the main one I know about does great work and it is not an issue of shipping sub-standard work, it is about not shipping any. This happens when you are owed six figures for work you have already done. The Chinese comapny, who specializes in high end collectibles and also produces props and costumes for film, does amazing work. They have made us a number of things and their work has been very good.

We (Global Effects Inc.) started doing work for ANOVOS in the beginning of 2015.
First prototyping the classic y-wing helmets to be used in Rouge One. Three unpainted helmets with liners were sent to the Rouge One production company and 2 were painted "as new". Anovos displayed one of these.
View attachment 1028006View attachment 1028008View attachment 1028016

Eventually our deal was to produce any short run production (less than 100 pieces) items for ANOVOS and rework the First order suits, for eventually making 1000 - 1500 kits. They also had their US production staff headquartered at our North Hollywood facility.
We prototyped much of their Star Wars helmet line and many of the armor sets. (The pictures you see on their site) Boba Fett, Kylo Renn, Phasma, First order Tie Pilot, Snow Trooper, Classic Snow Trooper, X-wing Pilot, AT AT Pilot, plus some others.
We produced 50 each of Tie pilot, AT AT pilots, Snow Trooper and X-Wing pilot sets, hard goods and some soft goods. These were delayed several times because of ANOVOS management changing priorities and / or not supplying detail parts to us in sufficient quantities or on time. (Some of the small "found" parts were purchased and supplied by outside vendors) All of our completed sets were picked up from us in mid 16 or early 17.
View attachment 1028009

We also completely retooled the First Order suits to make then easier to build, visually closer to production used suits (The original suits were cast urethane). We redesigned the gaskets so they actually bent and re engineered the leg suspension so the legs didn't want to rotate or drop when you walked. The helmets were injection molded by the company in Chins and were fantastic. (Much better than the film used helmets)
This prototype was painted gray here so you can see all the surfaces are smooth and the seams (panel gaps) small and parallel. (this prototype is missing mid drift boxes and belt.)
View attachment 1028007
In 2016 we built over 100 First Order suits for ANOVOS with this new production tooling. These were to be used at Disney, Disney knew these were mass produced "costume" kits that were being modified for use on figures (Not walk around) and ANOVOS cut them a good deal. But after art director review, Disney decided they wanted higher detailed suits. Which in order to meet their new requirements, would have necessitated molds for fiberglass parts or cast parts, something ANOVOS told us they didn't want to do.

In all we did about 31/2 years worth of work for them and in the end we called it quits when payments became chronically late, we were redirected too many times on "in production items", and when ANOVOS cancelled the 1000 First Order Trooper kit order. This last one was quite a surprise, as in addition to having an invoice and down payment on this order, we had spent significant sums of money reworking the tooling for this order and Disney's order. We had greatly improved the kit from ANOVO's first version, lowered production costs substantially, gave them reliable delivery times and made the suit easier for the customer to build and all while being more accurate.
Eventually all of my advanced and "trick" vacuum forming tooling methods (all the tooling we made) were taken and handed to the Chinese company. The Chinese company was asked to improve the suits we made for the Disney projects and they told ANOVOS they couldn't make them any better. In looking at the images on the ANOVOS site, the premier kit looks like our suit, either one of our prototypes, or a Chinese made version of our suit.
So, for what it's worth, there is some first hand info on why ANOVOS may not be delivering product, at least from one vendors point of view.
 

masterjedi322

Sr Member
I’ve noticed that the anovos TLJ first order helmets are selling for $400 in Galaxys edge.

Does anyone know if the are the standard or premier versions? Cause if they are the standard ones with the raw hard hat style lining they are nearly double the price of anywhere else, and if they are the premier versions with fully lined interior they are cheaper than on any other sites
Based on the pictures I’ve seen showing the inner liner, I would venture they are the premier helmets, which would also explain the higher price tag.

Sean
 

lmgill

Sr Member
Based on the pictures I’ve seen showing the inner liner, I would venture they are the premier helmets, which would also explain the higher price tag.

Sean
I assume you are referring to the Y-wing helmet, that was only done (on my own initiative) for the helmets sent to Rouge One. Since we heard it was to take place before the first film, I thought the helmets should look "new". The images we had from Lucas of the original Y-Wing, showed yellow soft urethane foam bits just stuck in. Clearly not for camera. So I designed a liner I thought would fit the cannon. My choice was white, but I was asked by ANOVOS to make them black. These were vacuum formed foam. The ANOVOS premier line all seem to have "Upholstered" liners, more like a motorcycle helmet.
 

mluder

Active Member
I agree with this statement. Working for a company who has licenses and deals with factories, I cannot tell you how many times you send a prototype paint master item for the factory to duplicate and they turn around and send you a production sample that is horrible. You then have to spend more time and money to get them to redo it, or as stated above, you find another factory.

Issues like that can also plays into long delays. We have a life size statue in the works.... we premiered it a year ago at SDCC, we then took feedback and had to have the head re-sculpted.... that was thousands of dollars right there. Then we shipped the new prototype to a factory.... thousands of dollars there. Cut to a year later, and the factory finally has a production sample for us to photograph and FINALLY put it up for pre-sale! WRONG!

The piece arrived, I look it over and the paint is horrible. It looks nothing like the paint master. What does that mean? Means we wait another 6-12 months for the factory to paint a new one and ship it to us to review. This factory blunder probably set us back another year. This happens way more often than you can imagine.
The difference here is that you are waiting on the pre-production sample to be approved BEFORE you put it up for pre-sale. Annovos has a one off prototype made locally (in the US by a prop builder) then put images up of that piece and then take pre-orders. There's no production samples, no production timeline, hell, they may not even have selected a factory at that point.

That's a huge difference.

EDIT - This was posted before seeing Imgill's post... But it confirms my assertion. Production prototypes are not the images you see on the pre-order listings. They are locally sourced by companies like Global Effects. It's no wonder everything is delayed. There cashing checks for items they have no idea what they will cost to make, how long it will take to make them, what the final quality will be... I could go on but you get the picture.

Cheers
Steve
 
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lmgill

Sr Member
The difference here is that you are waiting on the pre-production sample to be approved BEFORE you put it up for pre-sale. Annovos has a one off prototype made locally (in the US by a prop builder) then put images up of that piece and then take pre-orders. There's no production samples, no production timeline, hell, they may not even have selected a factory at that point.

That's a huge difference.

EDIT - This was posted before seeing Imgill's post... But it confirms my assertion. Production prototypes are not the images you see on the pre-order listings. They are locally sourced by companies like Global Effects. It's no wonder everything is delayed. There cashing checks for items they have no idea what they will cost to make, how long it will take to make them, what the final quality will be... I could go on but you get the picture.

Cheers
Steve
Steve,
I'm not sure where your info is from, but In this case, the prototypes are exactly the ones you see on the preorder pages, whether made by us, or China. ANOVOS had 4 to 5 prototypes made each time. All for specific uses. These prototype samples were used for the whole production process, samples for approvals, samples for the factory, samples for paint, and samples for photos for advertising and trade shows.
As far as cost goes, based on our time producing prototypes and production articles, ANOVOS spend a great deal of time determining exactly what these pieces will cost, how long they will take and they have 2 or 3 dedicated employees just for quality control, who regularly made trips to China to over see the work at the factory. Sometimes there were delays getting items approved by IP holders, while this was rare, when it did happen, it could hold things up a couple of months.
Even with the on and off production of the pieces I mentioned earlier, we finished all of our production runs in less than a year. For each project, it was around 2 to 3 months from fabricating prototypes, approval of prototypes, tooling and finishing the production run. But, since we did not make all the pieces for a given item (We did not generally do the soft goods) I do not know if there was another delay with some other vendor.

So, No, as I witnessed, the delay was not lack of production resources or production planning (although this could have been improved) it seems to be too many things started at one time and not having the cash flow to keep all the wheels turning. there never seemed to be enough hours in a week to accomplish all the tasks the ANOVOS production team was asked to finish. Cash flow.
Even when you have "millions" of dollars to work with, keeping all your expenses covered, at the time needed, is a tricky thing. When you have that much money moving through a company, it only takes one big, unexpected bill, at an inopportune time, to cause a train wreck.
After 34 years of owning and running a company, I felt as though ANOVOS was burning through money on too many fronts.
 

the Pawn

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Again I did not file the class action blindly. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the issue of ANOVOS not having any money left for refunds after taking full payment, including shipping, for every preorder.

Where did all of the money go? It had to be spent or taken by someone or something. We are talking millions of dollars collected over the years so how does Anovos still owe hundred of thousand of dollars or more to vendors in the USA, China and Taiwan.

It boggles the mind to think about it but goes to show the risks and problems involved when fans like us get the chance of a lifetime to run a dream company making something you love. If you do not have a background in business or any experience then maybe you shouldn’t run a million dollar company.
 

mikidymac

New Member
Based on the pictures I’ve seen showing the inner liner, I would venture they are the premier helmets, which would also explain the higher price tag.

Sean
The Galaxy's Edge helmets are a bit of a hybrid and not either of the ones that were offered directly from Anovos. They are the injection molded ones of the "Standard" line but with a liner and a stand. The "Premier" helmets were fiberglass with liner. Anovos and LFL confirmed that the three TLJ helmets floating around are from different supply chains.
 
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